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review 2017-03-29 01:38
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Ga... Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

A special thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple, mundane life, and operates on the same routine every day—she  wears the same clothes to work, eats the same meal for lunch from the same location, makes the same dinners, and every weekend buys the same kind of pizza with the same kind of wine, and two bottles of vodka to get her through the weekend.  She is incredibly isolated and lonely with no benchmark of how life should be.  From a random act of kindness Eleanor realizes exactly what she's been missing and how much better life can be.   

The description of Honeyman's debut made it sound like a Bridget Jones type novel. Eleanor is a 30 year-old singleton, living in the city, who drinks a lot, but that is where the comparison ends.  In fact, I actually thought that Eleanor may be on the Autism spectrum because of her routines, the difficulty she has in social settings, and her formal speech.  However, her behaviour stems from suffering a childhood trauma, and also not having any family or friends to help guide her in social situations—she has been alone for so long that she has no point of reference with things like pop culture, and relationships in general.  She is also victim of mental abuse every Wednesday when she talks to her 'Mummy' on the phone.

The novel unfolds through Eleanor and at times she is an unreliable narrator that serves the story perfectly.  Incredibly sad at times, this exploration of the human spirit was a bright debut and I highly recommend it.

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review 2017-03-28 15:06
Sisters One, Two, Three
Sisters One, Two, Three - Nancy Star

Glory Tangle and her four children were staying on Martha's Vineyard when something tragic happened. Afterwards Ginger and Mimi, the oldest sisters, are not supposed to mention what happened to anyone, not even to their mother, and their younger sister, Callie, is sent away to boarding school. Many, many years later Ginger is forced to reveal a secret when her teenage daughter overhears a comment. And so the Tangles' web of secrets and lies begins to unravel. When Glory dies and long-estranged Callie returns home, Ginger goes back to Martha's Vineyard to piece together what really happened on the day no one dared to mention in the Tangle household.

This is told from Ginger's perspective. It's a slow-moving book but I enjoyed reading about the Tangle's, especially in the early years. They're dysfunctional and have their quirks and I didn't always like how they handled things but you can't help but like them just the same. It's a realistic portrayal of how keeping secrets and not talking about memories and your feelings can damage relationships.

Thank you to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the copy of this book.

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review 2017-03-28 03:27
You Know Me Well
You Know Me Well - Nina LaCour,David Levithan

I thought this book was well-written and the plot moved along at a brisk pace, but honestly, even considering the fact that I am not a YA reading this, I found it unrealistic. There is endless talking and pining for love in this story (I found all the over-analyzing more like college students than high school, but maybe that’s just me) and yay, it’s a story of so many under-represented gay teens, but aside from that, not a whole lot happens. Well, actually, a lot happens in the span of just a few days, but I didn’t find it very believable. Having said that, I will admit that I loved the banter between the friends — I found it smart and funny and the authors established a nice rapport among them; but it was all smart and funny, barely an awkward pause despite the fact that most of them had only just met. I mean I get the whole fast friends thing, but there was a lot of that here – not just one relationship.

 

LaCour and Levithan had their hearts in the right place, but I thought the story that unfolded had the potential to be so much more.

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review 2017-03-28 00:30
What a great start to a new series!
Lost Rider (The Coming Home Series) - Harper Sloan

Lost Rider (The Coming Home Series) - Harper Sloan 

 

 

*4.5 STARS*

 

I became familiar with Harper Sloan through her Corps Security series which I loved. Those hot, alpha, ex-military men were something else. So, when I saw that she was going to have a new series featuring cowboys, I couldn't wait to see what it was all about.

LOST RIDER was full of loss and redemption, love and pain, family and hope and so many other things that I felt like my heart was going to burst right out of my chest reading it.

We start with Maverick Davis, a rodeo star who has just been grounded for good. He had one injury too many and now the doctors won't clear him to go back to competing. Feeling at a loss, he now not only has to turn his back on the one thing in his life that meant something to him, but he's also has to head back home to the place he swore he'd never return to when he left it and all those in it behind ten years ago. He knows that there is a lot more than ghosts waiting for him there.

When he gets there though he ends up pissing off the one person he was most scared of seeing, the woman he ran from all those years ago, but seeing her again is like no time has been lost at all. Only, she's spitting mad and wants nothing to do with him.

Leighton James didn't expect to see Maverick Davis again, but when she does it's like a punch to her gut. The boy she was in love with her whole life is back and her traitorous heart beats him like he never left. She's not going to let him waltz back in and trample all over love again. She wouldn't be able to take it.

But, he now knows what he's meant to do and he's meant to do it with Leighton at his side. He just has to convince her that it's safe to give him her heart again.

This was just so many things. So many things. I hated how much pain both Maverick and Leighton went through but that made their HEA that much more sweeter. Seeing all of the back story and understanding why things happened the way that they did really made how hard they worked to be together that much more important. Maverick was really dealt a crap hand, but I was glad to see how whole he was when he came out of other side. And it doesn't hurt that Mav and Leigh were hot as hades between the sheets, or outside, or up against a door. *sigh*

The rest of the Davises, Mav's older brother, Clayton, and his younger sister, Quinn, were integral to the story as well. I look forward to seeing them get their own stories as well.

LOST RIDER is the first book in the Coming Home series and I look forward to seeing where the series will be going next. The author hinted that maybe it will be Quinn's turn next, but I'm really looking to see what's going to happen when Clayton finally falls.

So, LOST RIDER was a definite hit for me. I can't wait to go back the little Texas town and visit with the Davis's and the James's again.

*Advanced Reader's Copy provided by NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

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review 2017-03-28 00:27
Sometimes love is served with a twist!
Twist (Dive Bar) - Kylie Scott

Twist (Dive Bar) - Kylie Scott 

 

TWIST is the latest installment of the Dive Bar series by Kylie Scott. The gang's all here again but this time it's Joe Collins in the hot seat. And the big, burly, lumbersexual hottie is trouble when what he thought of as an innocent deception blows up in his face.

It was supposed to be innocent. When Joe starts using his brother Eric's online dating profile instead of closing it like he was asked to do, he really didn't think much of it. But when the woman he has been chatting with over the last several months shows up at the Dive Bar, ready to meet the man she thought she had been building a relationship with, it all comes to a head.

Alex Parks has no idea that when she shows up at the Dive Bar to see her online friend, that he'll have no idea who she even is. But, when she finds out about the deception, her humiliation has her wanting to run back to her home in Seattle as soon as possible. Fate will have other ideas and she is left grounded in northern Idaho for several days. Days in which she is left getting to know the big, blonde hunk who is the cause of all of the problems.

And although neither Joe nor Alex wants to admit it, the more time they spend together, the more time they have to realize that they are just what the other needs.

I really thought TWIST was cute. From the horrible mix up when Alex showed up at the Dive Bar unannounced, I knew that I was going to be in for a treat. Joe for all the trouble he caused was adorable and sweet. I was glad that he got someone that could appreciate him and not just what he was doing for them.

And Alex was a lot stronger than she gave herself credit for despite all of her neuroses. I was just happy she was able to get past most of them in order to get the ending that she deserved.

All of the drama between Nell, Eric and Patrick continued as well, but we got some resolution with that. That was bittersweet, but I was glad that things worked out the way that we all thought that it should have.

TWIST is the second book in the Dive Bar series, but it could be easily read as a standalone. The Dive Bar crew makes recurring appearances but you'll get the gist if don't read the first one. However, I recommend reading the first book because it was just as fun as this one.

My only problem with TWIST was the fact that Joe totally shut down there in that last third. I didn't understand why he just wouldn't talk to Alex and avoid all of the heartache he put them both through. I felt like he should have had to work just a bit harder to get back into her good graces after that, but who am kidding? I probably wouldn't have been able to hold out very long either.

All in all, I thought TWIST was fun, sweet, and sexy. Just what I was expecting from this author. I love the characters, the stories, and the setting. I can't wait to see what kind of trouble they will get into next.

*Advanced Reader's Copy provided by NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

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